Football season kicks off this weekend with rates cuts for Premier League clubs

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The wait is almost over for the return of one of the most popular sport leagues on the planet.

But whilst the Government has admitted that up to 500,000 shops, restaurants, pubs and even NHS hospitals have seen increases in tax bills for 2017/18, some of Britain's biggest and most successful football clubs will enjoy tax cuts for the season ahead.

The Government adjusted the Rateable Values of every business property in England and Wales to reflect changes in the property market. The new Rateable Values have been used to determine the basis of the tax calculation for business rates for 2017/18.

Our analysis shows that new property values for the 20 Premier League football clubs, which will be used to determine property tax bills for the next 5 years, have increased by over £9.35million. 
We know that the 20 Premier League clubs, including the newly promoted clubs, had a combined Rateable Value of £46.69million for their stadiums based on the last property assessment in 2010, which has formed the basis of rates bills for the last 7 years, but this has increased by 20.03% to £56.04million.

The biggest loser is Swansea, who's Liberty Stadium has seen its value skyrocket 300% whilst Southampton, Stoke City, Burnley, Leicester City and Crystal Palace have all seen rises of over 200% on the values of their stadiums. 

The biggest winner is Watford who has seen the value of Vicarage Road plummet by 22.88% whilst Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all seen the value of their stadiums fall. All five clubs will as a result see tax cuts for the 2017/18 season.

We project that the amounts payable under the new Rateable Values over the next 5 years represents a £20.32million increase in business rates tax for the clubs allowing for transitional relief which limits how high bills can rise each year plus inflation. There are no limits on annual rises in Wales. 

The 20 Premier League football clubs paid between them £23.44million rates for 2016/17 for last season which has increased to £25.77million for 2017/18 covering the new season ahead. 

The biggest rates bill for the 2017/18 season will be for Wembley Stadium at £3.53million, up 11.1% whereas Tottenham will play their home games whilst work on the club's new stadium continues. 

The tax bill for Manchester United's Old Trafford will be £3.2million for 2017/18; less than 5% of Romelu Lukaku's £75million Summer transfer fee. 

Confusion still surrounds West Ham's tax affairs for the London Stadium. Despite the tax bill being £2.3million for 2017/18, stadium owners E20, a joint venture between publicly funded London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council, will pick up the bill for the entire stadium out of West Ham's annual £2.5million rent although E20 have said the club are responsible for rates on the stadiums retail and office space.

The lowest bill of all is for Bournemouth's Dean Court Stadium at just £86,141 despite the club receiving £118.24million from the Premier League for payment of broadcast and central commercial income alone for last season. 

Because of the complex way the business rates system works – we're actually comparing valuations from 2008 and 2015.

This means that we’re looking at which clubs – or at least their properties – have performed the best in the round over that seven year period.

The Foxes' rise from third tier to top tier football means the value of their stadium has shot up and the same is true of other big climbers such as Swansea City, Southampton and Burnley.

For the traditional big clubs, rates have been more stable and even fallen in some cases.

The overall tax bill of £25.77million for the 2017/18 season ahead is just 0.7% of the last reported revenue figures of £3.6billion for top flight clubs.